Ear inflammation and infections are some of the most common canine health problems. Their symptoms are familiar to most of us - shaking the head and scratching the ears, sensitivity to touch, redness and discharge in the ear canal etc.. Bacteria (Staphylococcus species), and yeast (Malassezia species) are the infections most commonly involved in dog ear conditions.
Otitis externa is the name for inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. Otitis externa is the most common dog ear condition. Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear canal, and Otitis interna is inflammation of the inner ear. Both media and interna typically occur as a result of an untreated infection of the outer ear canal.
A challenge to treating chronic ear inflammation and infections is identifying the underlying cause which is responsible for starting the inflammatory process which leads to infection by bacteria and yeast. Environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis) are believed to be the most common primary triggers for otitis externa.
(In this RightPet section, we're focusing on treatments for the actual infection itself. But if your dog is diagnosed as having environmental or food allergies, we have great sections for these conditions too.)